It seemed legal to take photos so I did--of works that I thought were beautiful or interesting or in one case, very dubious. Seeing a Pollock or a Manet in a textbook--small and flat--makes one wonder about their appeal. Seeing these paintings filling a whole wall gives a much different perspective--and appreciation.
A big red painting caught my eye. Why do a large canvas all in red?
Vir Heroicus Sublimis ,
Newman’s largest painting at the time of its completion, is meant to overwhelm the senses. Viewers may be inclined to step back from it to see it all at once, but Newman instructed precisely the opposite. When the painting was first exhibited, in 1951 at the Betty Parsons Gallery in New York, Newman tacked to the wall a notice that read, “There is a tendency to look at large pictures from a distance. The large pictures in this exhibition are intended to be seen from a short distance.” Newman believed deeply in the spiritual potential of abstract art. The Latin title of this painting means “Man, heroic and sublime.”
I did as Newman requested and it was like entering "redness" itself. Pretty cool.
Then there was The Air Rifle Shot one--no hole in the wall--just the words. That was art as language. Or maybe just a bit silly.
Dan and I had been texting and he wondered if I'd like to see his office. Sure was my reply. I walked to the York Theatre to get my ticket for tonight's performance--getting a little lost in the church and finding myself in a lobby with homeless folk waiting for their lunch--and then took the E train to Union Square where I met Dan in the lobby at 200 Park Avenue. The Hammer Lab was a lot different (one room with ten stations or so) than Google's one full block of offices but very nice and a good space--and a good job--for Dan.
After a little lunch at Pret Manger, I took the 5 train to 42nd Street, got some coffee, and am now relaxing in my room for a few hours.
10 pm--back at 70 Park Avenue. I skipped the complimentary wine reception, a nice feature of Kimpton hotels, and went to church instead. Really. I walked to St. Thomas Church at 5th Avenue and 52nd Street and worshipped at the Festival Eucharist for St. Matthias. I thought it was going to be Evensong and might have preferred that. The gentlemen of the choir sang and were a bit disappointing to me. The soprano men's voices seemed harsh.
Another Pret Manger half-sandwich and a glass of $14 cabernet from the bar--complimentary with a $15 voucher however--and I settled back into my room to listen to the Irish men lose to Syracuse.
It has been a wonderful day--and a wonderful stay both with family and in NYC. Now I hope that tomorrow night at this time I am with Jim and home.